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Affirmations. Friday January 16, 2015

I have a confession to make, I talk to myself, yes, I know, it's the first sign of madness! Now I am lucky enough to work with a lovely team of caring colleagues, albeit in a cramped office, who are very tolerant of my constant mutterings while I work. However one of them pulled me up the other day. She expressed shock at the violence with which she heard me say "Frankie, you idiot; you absolute idiot; how can you be so stupid?" Her very wise point was that I should never give myself negative messages, only positive, affirming messages.

Which got me thinking, why don't we create our own list of affirming statements to say to ourselves so that we can drown out the negative chatter of our minds?

"I am loving"
"I am caring"
"I am helpful"
"I am gentle"
"I am respected"
"I am organised"
"I am capable"
"I am good at..."
"I am a good friend"

The list is endless (yes it is - for each and every one of us). No shoulds, oughts, musts, wills, can'ts or negatives of any description - just the affirmation "I am...".

By writing out our affirmations, we already begin to counter the negative messages we so often give ourselves; By saying one or two affirmations aloud throughout the day we may well surprise ourselves at how much more smoothly the day runs...

By sharing our affirmations on the blogspot we can marvel at the richness and diversity of wisdom we Moodscopers together represent, we can strengthen our sense of (on-line) community...(and we can nick some for ourselves of course!)

Wishing everyone peace of mind and heart.

A Moodscope member.

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Hopeful One Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 6:49am

Hi Frankie-an illuminating post.There is a neurobiological basis for it.Nestling in our brain at its base is a collection of nerve cells collectively called the amygdala " the fright and fight center" we inherited form our evolutionary past.It has only one gear and it reacts fast as it had to in those hunter gather days. It reacts by producing cortisol the stress hormone which is OK in small quantities but very deleterious in large.So when we criticize ourselves the amgdala perceives it as a threat and sends out a burst of cortisol. It cannot tell whether the criticism comes from outside or within.Our affirmations sooth it and calm it down. I do like to have a scientific explanation if there is one at unfortunately the expense of boring as my fellow Moodscopers ! But I think they are a forgiving lot .Having said all that that it is important that our affirmations are believable other wise they are unlikely to work.

Rupert Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 8:21am

Frankie it is a great idea but for me personally I am even struggling to come up with anything good I could say about myself as I am so condtioned to thinking about myself in a negative way. It will be interesting to see how many lists we get on here today. This is in no way a criticism just an observation!

Anonymous Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 8:50am

Oh the irony! I'm utterly rubbish at this! "I'm here all week." :-D
Ok...trying harder now, I am always interested (in ways to better my D word).
Thank you Frankie for showing me what I need. And joking aside, I grew up in a household where this was never practised and so I do try to use this language about myself in front of my children. My head is firing back the opposite but I am making my mouth say it.

I am committed (to destroying my D word).
Ah...I'm getting in the f l o w.
Love from the room above the garage x.

twistedwillow Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 9:06am

Last year on a whim I bought a desk calendar of "daily affirmations". Some of them were cheesily "american" In tone ("I look in the mirror each day and say "hi honey, I love you") - however, even those gave us a bit of a laugh which is one way of lifting the mood. Some of the others were poignant, and made you think. I think with affirmations, it's not necessarily the point that you believe what you're saying to begin with. You say things you should believe, that you want to feel, and each time you say it it can become more real. It's a bit of faking it till you make it.
Even if your inner demon comes back with "no you're not" when you say "I'm a nice person" - it gives you an opportunity to challenge it, ask it for proof, then pick the proof apart.
Even if it's genuine, and there's something you do that makes you not a nice person, chances are you know what that is, and so you know what to try to change to be the person you want to be.

Anonymous Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 10:13am

Keep going; it will help! Frankie

Anonymous Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 11:26am

Oh Rupert, you need to make a list and yours goes like this:
I am courageous - you make yourself go to a place of work, where you don't want to go.
I am brave - you face that challenge each day
I am kind - you respond to Moodscope emails.
I am thoughtful - when you respond, you make valid points and don't want to upset the letter writer
....I don't know you well at all, but I am sure there are many, many other things you could write to affirm who you really are.
Caring thoughts are with I need to start on my own affirmations!
Karen x

Hopeful One Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 11:26am

Hi twisted willow- it helps if it is believable but perhaps just saying it often enough achieves the same effect?

Mary Blackhurst Hill Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 11:31am

OK - honesty time: I hate affirmations. There's always the "yeah, but..." in the back of them that whips round like a scorpion's tail and makes it worse. Having said that, I totally agree that negative self-talk is self-defeating. So talking to ourselves kindly is much better. Because we just can't shut that annoying little voice up, can we? ("No we can't; well, especially you can't, can you Mary, because you're always talking, aren't you and haven't you realised yet how annoying most people find it?....") See what I mean?

Hopeful One Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 11:32am

Hi Rupert- how about starting with something simple like " I am a good person and I value myself" it would be hard to argue that you have nothing good in you even when your inner critic is screaming at you . And you cannot not value yourself . Carl Rogers a famous psychologist put it this way -always give / have unconditional high regard for oneself.

Anonymous Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 11:39am

Dear Hopeful One
This is fascinating (how about doing a blog for us? please?)
It is great to have scientific explanations.
About your last sentence; interesting use of language - "they are unlikely to work" - mmm ...
How about this for an affirmation "I am changing my habits and thought patterns" (because simply by saying it you are actually doing it)?
How about jotting down your thoughts, as if you were talking about someone else? I do this - e.g. Frankie feels she is failing; this is not true, but she is tired and when tired she finds it difficult to see the positive ...
Be your own best friend and give yourself your own best advice ...
Your sign in, Hopeful One, sounds as if you already do this!
Thank-you for your comments.

Anonymous Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 11:43am

Hello Mary;
Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean!

Yes, I used to hate them; but I decided to go ahead and say them very loudly to myself in the car on the way to work; if nothing else it stopped me stressing about the day ahead which means I am a lot calmer now when at work.
Try it! Persevere! Even if it makes you smile because that alone will help lift your mood ...
Good luck!

Anonymous Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 11:49am

Hello twistedwillow;
I think this is so true; thank-you.
And yes, Hopeful One, I do think saying affirmations often enough does, in time, achieve the same effect (see my reply to Mary below).

Anonymous Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 11:51am

Thank-you Karen and Hopeful One; you have said it all!
I absolutely agree with both of you.
Good luck Rupert!

Rupert Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 2:49pm

Aw thanks to you both for your kind words and encouragment! It is so nice to be able to discuss things that others might find odd or maybe irrelevant but which are such an important apect of our lives.

Rupert Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 2:50pm

And you Frankie too!

aj Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 7:39pm

To the scientists among moodscopers and the non scientists too! There's some psychological "proof" that saying positive phrases does actually really help. There's also the cortisol release when we think of nice things and times (see the BBC horizon program about dieting if oy don't believe me!).
Someone I saw today had on a teeshirt - it had a great positive affirmation on it (wish I could remember it a?l-sorry) and it was printed upside down as we?l as the right way up. So he wearer just had to look down to get a boost up!

Julia Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 7:59pm

Hi Frankie
I am sorry I haven't commented today or on your other blog about your daughter's lovely preset to you, the one with the jar of messages. I am thinking about you and your current struggle with work. I remember saying affirmations to myself during my drive to work and playing Madonna full blast. Both helped! xx ps. I have been to Bruges today and had no wifi until now I am back.

Anonymous Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 8:21pm

Thanks aj; good to know re; science and really interesting. I'm hoping to see the recent programmes on dieting as I follow the 5:2 diet (I lost a stone!)

Anonymous Fri, Jan 16th 2015 @ 8:22pm

Thanks Julia - Bruges is lovely isn't it! Good to hear from you; I'm still enjoying the jar - not yet read all of them though - she wrote loads!
Love Frankie xxx

Silvia A Sat, Jan 17th 2015 @ 2:20am

Like Mary my option is to talk to myself in a gentle, soft, kind way. And have patience.

Silvia A Sat, Jan 17th 2015 @ 2:24am

I am looking for your blog, too. And also some references to this point.

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